Gerhardt Hogarth was born into a wealthy family, but rejected his birthright to study magic at the Great Academy of Cerulea. His intelligence and obsessive fixation on the undiscovered capabilities of Hexing Gems made him admired amongst the faculty. However, his increasingly erratic behavior unnerved his fellow students.
The Great Academy had no choice but to expel Hogarth in the aftermath of a magical catastrophe that seriously injured three students and cost Hogarth his left arm. (Hogarth’s family were forced to endow the Academy with an exceedingly generous financial donation to keep the details of the “incident” confidential.)
Banished, injured, and increasingly mad, Hogarth began his two decades of wandering.
During a perilous excursion to the Hyperborean Mountains, Hogarth found the arena of the Frost Ring. He was the first mortal to step onto the arena floor in more than two thousand years. He quickly became fascinated with this ancient, forgotten place. Hogarth decided to dedicate his life to discovering the arena’s secrets as well as the spirits that haunted its frozen walls.
Hogarth managed to rebuild his missing arm from magical ice. He also discovered three sentient frozen heads, former members of the Order, which he stuck on a single long pike who became his constant companions:
• Crispin, a human scholar and mage of the Order who claims to know everything about everything.
• Mulug, an orc cleric whose centuries of not having a body have left him embittered.
• Goneril, a female elf warlock who claims to have been the founder and leader of the Order, but Crispin and Mulug both deny the truth of this claim.
On a crisp autumn morning, a courier handed a wrinkled parchment to Archmage Wrenlocke, chancellor of the Academy of Cerulea. As the Archmage unrolled the soggy scroll, he saw a few scant words scrawled in the shaky hand of a madman:
“The Frost Ring has been prepared. The backside of this missive serves as a map to its location. Alert the reckless, the unwise, the imprudent, and tell them to come. Urge them to bring their swords and their spells. Gold and glory await the victorious.